Sunday, March 8, 2009

Muti murders

Cross posted on Intrepid Aardvark.

The Southern Africa Network against Trafficking and Abuse of Children (SANTAC) has released a disturbing report on muti murders, the killing of people and the use of their body parts in traditional African medicine. From the summary:
This report documents that body parts are frequently trafficked in South Africa and Mozambique and so-called witchdoctors, usually through a third party, actively seek human body parts from live victims to be used in their medicine. The research found that it is a commonly held belief in South Africa and Mozambique that traditional medicine, when made with body parts, is stronger and more powerful.

The report highlights that the policies and programmes in place to counter trafficking body parts are practically nonexistent. The limited policies that could be used to counter this activity are out of date and not generally enforced.

The report draws attention to the lack of an internationally recognised definition of trafficking body parts and highlights that without such a definition, any attempt to counter this activity will be impaired and these Human Rights violations will continue unabated.
If there is another magic belief that is as evil as this one, I would be very surprised. These practises, it seems to me, are the very best example of the dangers of magical thinking. Having to ask "what's the harm?" seems like a luxury when considering these beliefs.

(See also: Wikipedia on medicine murder and a News24 article on the report).

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